My homesteading journey is a rough road traveled sometimes.
Sometimes it feels like there just isn’t enough hours in the day.
Some days on the homestead leave me feeling overwhelmed and tired, yet others leave me with a sense of satisfaction like nothing else can.
I run my homestead by myself. Yep, you read that right. All 15 acres, all 22 chickens, everything.
I mow the fields and the grass, I push and drag the rototiller, I plant the seeds, I harvest all the fruit and vegetables that grow in my garden. I do it all.
Here’s my story…
The Start of My Homesteading Journey
First of all, let me share with you that I did the marriage and the kids thing.
The truth is the marriage didn’t work out so well, so I just concentrated on the kids, all 4 of them.
I homeschooled my children all the way through high school, I worked, and I ended up raising the best kids anyone could have asked for.
Then that dreaded moment came that I wasn’t prepared for, they grew up!
They moved, got married, had children on their own, and started great new families for themselves.
I suffered from “empty nest syndrome”, and an identity crisis.
I never knew how to be anything but a mom and a gardener. So now what?
I decided I wanted to start homesteading. But where?
Deciding Where to Homestead
I moved a lot from Pennsylvania to Georgia, to Virginia, and finally to Florida.
My parents owned 15 acres in central Florida and that’s where I decided I wanted to plant my roots.
I chose a spot in the back of the property, completely enclosed by tall oak trees and dense shrubbery.
It was secluded and I loved it!
I had a tiny house built in 2013 and my homesteading journey began.
Next, I planted a small vegetable garden, a small herb garden, got 2 ducks and had a dog.
I had cleared some small sections directly around the house, but I was still secluded.
Then reality hit me…I was alone, no help at all. How was I going to accomplish anything by myself?
Setting Priorities and Goals
I knew tackling such a journey would be tough and I knew I had to have a plan and a solid one at that.
I started researching and reading everything and anything I could about homesteading.
Some nights I spent countless hours up taking notes, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, and reading every book I could.
After some time I felt like I had a good education about what homesteading is and how to get started.
I learned about the skills I needed to learn.
I developed a long list of resources to help me on my journey, and I even got a good foundation at how to make money while homesteading.
It was time to make a plan.
I wrote out everything I wanted to accomplish. I put it all on paper.
Then I took that list and decided what things were the most important tasks to start.
From there I broke those tasks and projects into monthly and even weekly plans.
Finally, my homesteading journey could really take shape with a solid plan.
Lessons Learned Along the Way
Oh, the lessons I learned in the next 3 and a half years! I made a lot of mistakes, I learned a lot of new things.
The biggest lesson I learned is that I cabn do most anything, but it is okay to ask for help.
I now have support from a few people locally that will come and help if I need it, but for the most part, I think I have it under control.
In the last few years, I have started raising chickens, 22 of them to be exact.
I’ve taken on 2 farm dogs that recently gave me ten darling little puppies, I’ve put in a kitchen garden, a 3 bin compost pile, and I have gotten quite good operating farm equipment.
I have learned to can and preserve the food I grow, I attract birds to my property, I’ve built a few bat houses, put in a pond, and learned to eat better and become healthier too.
Advice to Others
If I can give one piece of advice to others it is to read, research and plan everything you do before you dive in.
I still read other homesteading blogs every day, stay active on facebook and twitter with other homesteaders, and I read every book I find on gardening, canning, and anything pertaining to homesteading.
Homesteading is hard work, it can become overwhelming and there were many times I thought about quitting. But I kept trying and learning.
To this day, I still get overwhelmed, and I am still learning.
Overall, it is the best lifestyle choice I could have made.
My homesteading journey continues to move forward with better knowledge, more experience, and with a community of supportive people that I meet along the way.
Thank you for reading my story. Please share it so others can be inspired to start on their journey towards homesteading.